Farming systems in Japan and Bangladesh win acclaim

apricotfarms timlucas flickrFour farming systems in Bangladesh and Japan have been recognised as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) by the FAO

Keeping in mind current environmental and economic challenges as well as climate change, small-scale, family farmers and traditional agriculture can offer real solutions for food security, stated FAO deputy directir general Maria Helena Semedo.

Three sites are in Japan – Ayu of the Nagara River System, Minabe-Tanabe Ume System and Takachihogo-Shiibayama Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry System. The one in Bangladesh is the Floating Garden Agricultural Practices, said FAO in a statement.

With the four sites, the total number of GIAHS have come up to 36, spread across 15 nations in Africa, Latin America, Near East and Asia.

Bangladesh’s project involves a hydroponics production system with natural grass and plants that have been developed in flood areas. Bangladesh, which is prone to frequent flooding, now has a way to cultivate vegetables and crops all round the year, by allowing plants to grow on the water on a floating organic bed of hyacinth, algae and plant residue.

Japan’s Ayu of the Nagara River System involves the sustainable fishing of ayu fishes in the Nagara River by upstream forest management, which benefit local communities. The Minabe-Tanabe Ume System entails the production of Ume or Japanese aprociots on nutrient-deficient slopes, by maintaining upper coppice forests for landslide prevention and using Japanese honeybee for pollinators. These measures have given way to disaster prevention.

The Takachihogo-Shiibayama Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry System engages locals in cultivating timbre with other farming activities such as cultivation of rice, shitakke mushrooms, beef or even tea. The mixed agriculture is sustainable and carried out by using traditional farming practices.

All four systems are intended to propagate innovation, sustainability and adaptability in farming, stated the FAO.

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